Baltimore Begins to Plan a Better Health System for Sandtown-Winchester

Design of a health care delivery system for a Baltimore neighborhood

From 1993 to 1995, staff at the City of Baltimore Department of Health developed a plan for a comprehensive, financially sustainable, community-based health care delivery system that would eliminate barriers to access and focus on prevention in an underserved neighborhood.

The project was part of a larger effort, initiated in 1990 by Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, to rebuild social support systems in one of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods, Sandtown-Winchester.

Key Results

  • Local residents, health care providers, Baltimore's Health Department and the Enterprise Foundation (a nonprofit working to provide low to moderate income housing) formed a consortium aimed at planning a system that would include primary health care, substance abuse services and violence prevention services.
  • Consortium members and the community signed a compact outlining all participants' responsibilities at a public ceremony in March 1995.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $199,171.

After the Grant

Based on the recommendation of an external review panel as well as the review of RWJF staff, in June 1995 RWJF turned down an implementation proposal to partially fund the planned health care system in Sandtown-Winchester, due to shortcomings in the proposed plan.